Elon Musk could be asked to appear before the European Parliament to answer questions about his takeover of Twitter.
MEPs from the liberal Renew group have written to the EU legislature’s president asking her to invite the billionaire to attend a scrutiny session.
Dita Charanzová, the group’s top MEP on the European Parliament’s internal market committee, said Twitter could not be left to become a “dystopian hellscape” and that EU laws had to be followed.
Mr Musk has said he will focus on promoting free speech on the platform, though he has said he will respect local regulations.
“The bird might be free, but European values and laws must still apply to Twitter,” said Sophie in ‘t Veld, Renew’s top MEP on the civil liberties and home affairs committee.
“Elon Musk might be the world’s wealthiest man, but no one is unaccountable. A hearing with Mr Musk in the European Parliament would be the opportunity for European lawmaker’s to scrutinise his actions and intentions.”
She added: “The direction of travel is worrying; free speech, yes, but we won’t tolerate breaches of EU law or a return to the wild west.”
MEPs previously grilled Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg at a committee hearing in May 2018. The format of that appearance was however criticised for allowing the tech billionaire to dodge questions.
Ms Charanzová added: “Twitter cannot become a dystopian hellscape. On the contrary, it must do even more than it has been doing to fight disinformation and hate.
“This is what Mr Musk actually signed up for, at least in Europe. He should come and see us so he can understand the European rules of the game. He has obligations under the Digital Services Act and the 2022 Code of Practice on Disinformation, which Twitter is subject to.”
Mr Musk’s takeover of the platform has been fraught with controversy, with some users pledging to leave the website.
The billionaire has said he will change the website’s policies to introduce a charge for “verification”, a feature that helps users identify whether an account is in fact run by the person it presents itself as.
The website’s new owner, who also owns US carmaker Tesla and rocketry company SpaceX, last week claimed “activist groups” were “pressuring advertisers” to stop working with the company – amid a drop in revenue. Some in the ad industry have however dismissed the claims and say they are more concerned about Mr Musk’s own actions.
Around 50 per cent of the company’s workforce has reportedly lost their jobs since the takeover in an apparent bid to cut cost.